Arguing with Gary Becker about the economics of the family is a risky strategy at best, but when I read this:
Virtually all studies show that children brought up in intact families do better at school, and have fewer drug and delinquency problems, than do children whose parents divorced or never married. However, that evidence alone does not tell us whether or not children of divorced parents would have done poorly even if their parents had stayed together, perhaps because parental fighting creates an unpleasant atmosphere. Good evidence on the effects of divorced parents on children is much more elusive, but the limited material available confirms that divorce makes children worse off.
I couldn’t help respond:
What evidence do you have in mind? I’ve always regarded the two best studies on this topic as BjÃ¶rklund, Ginther and SundstrÃ¶m (2006) and Piketty (2003). Both have clever ways of dealing with the selection problem, and both find approximately zero impact of marriage on kids.